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People vs Agustin

Facts:
Accused-appellant, together with other 3 individuals (Quijano, Abenoja and
Cartel) were charged with murder, frustrated murder and attempted murder
in 5 separate informations filed with the RTC of Baguio City.
The crimes were allegedly committed on 6 September 1986 in Baguio City
and resulted in the deaths of Dr. Napoleon Bayquen and Anna Theresa
Francisco and the wounding of Anthony Bayquen, Dominic Bayquen, and
Danny Ancheta.
Accused Quiao, an alleged former military agent who had been picked up by
the police authorities, confessed during the investigation conducted byBaguio
City Fiscal Erdolfo Balajadia in his office that he was the triggerman.
During the investigation, Wilfredo Quiao was assisted by Atty. Reynaldo
Cajucom. Stenographic notes of the proceedings during the investigation as
transcribed with the sworn statement of Quiao was signed, with the
assistance of Atty. Cajucom, and swore to before City Fiscal Balajadia.
The following day, Agustin was apprehended, and was investigated and was
afforded the privileges like that of Quijano. Agustins defense interpose that
he was forced to admit involvement at gunpoint in the Kennon Road. He
further declared that although he was given a lawyer, Cajucom (a law partner
of the private prosecutor), he nevertheless, asked for his uncle Atty. Oliver
Tabin, and that Atty. Cajucom interviewed him from only two minutes in
English and Tagalog but not in Ilocano, the dialect he understands.
The promise that he would be discharged as a witness did not push through
since Quijano escaped. However the RTC convicted him, since conspiracy was
established. Hence the appeal.
RTC:

CA:

Jaime Agustin is found GUILTY of two (2) counts of murder, the prosecution
having proven his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
No mention.

Issue:
WON accused-appellants extrajudicial statement is admissible as evidence.
Ruling:
No. He was not fully and properly informed of his rights. The appellant was
not explicitly told of his right to have a competent and independent counsel
of his choice, specifically asked if he had in mind any such counsel and, if so,
whether he could afford to hire his services, and, if he could not, whether he
would agree to be assisted by one to be provided for him.
He was not categorically informed that he could waive his rights to remain
silent and to counsel and that this waiver must be in writing and in the
presence of his counsel. He had, in fact, waived his right to remain silent by
agreeing to be investigated. Yet, no written waiver of such right appears in

the transcript and no other independent evidence was offered to prove its
existence.
In short, after the appellant said that he wanted to be assisted by counsel,
the City fiscal, through suggestive language, immediately informed him that
Atty. Cajucom was ready to assist him. Moreso said counsel is not
independent since he is an associate of the private prosecutor.

SC:
RTC ruling is reversed and set aside. Accused-appellant is acquitted of the two (2)
counts of murder case.